A man, famous for creating outrageous and cutting-edge window displays, waxes on about his 10 commandments in life. Climb inside the brain of Simon Doonan with me for a moment and never think the same way about your wardrobe or personal image again.
1. Invent yourself.
Every morning you have the opportunity to make executive decisions about your life. And have fun doing it! I wonder what the world would be like if every time we approached a task or decision, we asked ourselves what would make it more fun? Invent yourself because you can. Invent yourself because it is refreshing and no one else can do it for you.
2. Dressing down is a crime against humanity.
We can’t be too precious with our things. We are all going to die someday. “If you always leave home in the unforgettable ensemble you’d wear to a Lady Gaga concert, your life will always be more fun.” (AOD, 55) I suppose this is one answer to my question above. I hadn’t necessarily considered my wardrobe to be the simple solution. Dress up, get out, and save the world.
3. Go forth and shop.
Doonan prescribes shopping as a quest; retail therapy in a light and refreshing way. Recycle, upcycle, invent, inspire, and see the potential in cloth. This suddenly makes shopping seem appealing. An opportunity to celebrate self-love month! An opportunity to reinvent ourselves! I love having the agenda of being creative and inspired, rather than needing an item. The need for something often creates pressure and anxiety (like the self-hate war of buying jeans), but Doonan reframes daily outfits as an opportunity to bring mystery, thrill, and delight to our senses and therefore, our lives.
4. Be a contrarian.
There are so many ways to be an activist. You can wear an awesomely vulgar outfit, ride your bike, or get involved with your local government council. It may mean speaking your values and standing up for the things you believe in. Indulge in your most outspoken side, which is possible through your wardrobe as well. Doonan suggests that dressing in clothes that are the opposite of what is in fashion at the moment makes you stick out. A bold opportunity! You only live once. Make a statement, leave a mark.
5. Every day is a new photo op.
Doonan frames this in the context of the perfect photo pose. Again, how can we infuse everyday reality with a breath of fresh air? How can you inspire? What is your edge? Are you the guy pulling pranks and starting practical joke wars in the office? Are you the one who channels sunlight into every room? What random acts of kindness can we practice today? If you took a photo at that moment, what would it look like?
6. Vive la vulgarite!
Don’t overthink it. Sometimes you’ve got style, and sometimes you don’t. Celebrate the times things get messy. Be vulgar.
7. Go niche.
Who ever feels like mainstream is the right path for them anyway? I have yet to meet someone who feels like that is where they fit in the best, though I won’t rule it out.
8. Say yes to everything!
I hate this one. Saying yes or no to anything sounds like bullshit to me. I put a “Say Yes Day” on my 27 x 27. I took it off. For some reason the idea really irks me, like life isn’t exciting or filled with enough surprises already. It has the ability to be humorous and tantalizing, but somehow I would rather be more disconcerting. But screw what I think. Doonan says “Say Yes!” It’s like improvisational theater, it’s important you play along. The more you take advantage of the opportunities provided to you, the more likely you’ll be living a life of grand adventure.
9. Grow old ungracefully.
This is incredibly satisfying. Finally someone who is encouraging us to do whatever comes naturally and to indulge in the awkward confines of age that society has created for us. Spend your time, money, and energy on the things that really matter to you and your stunning essence will shine through as strongly as it ever has.
10. Confidence is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
Be your most fabulous you. This will create a magnetic force field around you and “serious fan worship” is sure to follow.